Broward News

South Florida Institutions Uncovering Thousands of Suspicious Mortgages From Earlier in 2000s, According to New Data

Earlier this week, we told you about how reports in Florida of suspected mortgage fraud are up more than 1,800 percent since 2002, according to data from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an agency in the Treasury Department.

Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are all in the top 13 counties nationwide for reports of suspected mortgage fraud, but there's more to it than that -- a wide majority of the cases discovered last year are cases in which the fraud occurred years ago but is only now being uncovered.

In 2011, there were 9,262 reports filed implicating 24,954 subjects. Of those subjects, 22,236 -- a full 89 percent -- were accused of committing fraudulent activity before 2009, indicating that much of the shady business that went on before the market crash is only now being uncovered.

FinCEN spokesman Bill Grassano says many of these suspicious transactions are uncovered when investors move to take some kind of action on mortgages -- selling a security or foreclosing on a property, for example -- and discover missing documents, fudged numbers or fabricated information.

Oh, and here's a graph of just how often financial institutions are discovering these shady deals now:

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Rich Abdill